Lithuania Receives Polish Shoulder-Fired Air Defense Missiles

By Richard Tomkins
January 5, 2015
Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense has added Polish-made shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles to its air defense missile inventory.

The short-range man-portable missiles, or MANPADS, are the GROM, a 72mm weapon with an operational range of about 3.4 miles and an infrared guidance system.

The first batch of missiles and launchers, provided by Poland’s MESKO S.A., were delivered late last month under a contract worth more than $30 million, the ministry said.

The GROM missiles, being acquired as part of a military modernization program, will be delivered under the contract until 2021.

“We are pleased that Lithuanian Armed Forces’ modernization is progressing well,” said Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas. “Short-range MANPADs GROM will meet the urgent operational needs of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and will particularly reinforce the defense Lithuanian Armed Forces units and objects from air attacks.

“Procurement of the short-range MANPADS is one of the top priorities in equipping the Lithuanian Armed Forces.”

Lithuania currently fields Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS and Saab RBS 70s.

“The capacity of the new equipment will enhance defense of the Lithuanian Armed Forces units against air attacks and reconnaissance missions from low-altitude flying aircraft and UAVs,” the ministry said.